Title: Spies and Lies
SubTitle: The Paradox
Publisher: iUniverse
Imprint: AuthorBuzz
Pub Date: June 29, 2012
ISBN: 9781475918472
Author: Frederick L. Malphurs
Category: FICTION – ADULT: Mystery, Detective, Suspense & Thrillers: Mystery & Detective

Marketing Copy:

Lies often are treated as the truth and truth is often ignored, delayed, or accused of being wrong by people in power.

Starting during the Clinton administration and accelerated by the George W. Bush administration, the majority of intelligence activities of the US were contracted out. At the same time, many career intelligence agents in the CIA and other intelligence agencies were let go, services no longer needed or desired. The book, Spies and Lies, tells the story of one such agent, David Pearl, who became a victim to a reduction in force, the government’s terminology for downsizing (terminating the employment of) individual, real people. David Pearl is saddened by the end of his career, but remakes himself into a government intelligence contractor. He sets up his own corporation focusing on intelligence gathering and security consulting.

Months before David comes back to the US, a high ranking State Department employee is murdered while jogging on treadmill at a fitness center late one night. The investigation stalls, despite the huge amount of resources being devoted to it. In the course of fulfilling his contract obligations, David and his company tumble onto a conspiracy in the Greek embassy in Washington with links to a Greek led, but multi-ethnic network of gangsters, crooks, and liars. The Pearl operatives find corporate mismanagement and dishonesty abetted or ignored by those at the highest levels of government. All of this in a swirl of the vicious politics employed to curry favor, get fatter contracts and to hide the darkest of mistakes and/or secrets.

A West Virginia retired school principal becomes suspicious about her neighbor. Unknown to her, the neighbor is a former Russian spymaster who during the happy early days of détente was put into the witness protection program. These two combine for one set of plot twists and turns. A Greek diplomat from politically connected family in Greece violates the perquisites of a Greek gang in the US. His darkening trail leads to Canada, Turkey, Lebanon and elsewhere. This Greek diplomat is in a mid-life crisis and chooses to run. A sensuous, gorgeous Greek intelligence officer in Canada assists David Pearl in finding the diplomat in Canada and bringing him back to the Greek Embassy in Washington. The Greek intelligence officer and David Pearl form an alliance to get to the truth and eventually get married. But the diplomat refuses to go away, stay in custody, be deported or cooperate. Escaping into his own alternate reality, he steals David Pearl’s identity and the complications mount as the Pearl operatives take on challenge after challenge to get at the truth.
The fortunes of David Pearl and his corporation rise, then fall dramatically due to the misuse of misinformation. In this Washington intelligence community, the real intelligence is seldom turned into information. Guesswork predominates. Opinions become fact. Facts get distorted to fit the politics of a constantly mutating set of policies, votes, alliances and protocols. David Pearl and his collection of brilliant, if eccentric, outside the box thinkers and analysts invent new intelligence methods in order to figure it out, get it right the first time, and learn to ignore the feints, the politically desired realities and ‘known’ facts that so very often get in the way of the truth. And in the end, they all learn that getting it right often comes at a ‘break your heart’ cost.

Fred Malphurs spent thirty-seven years working for the Federal Department of Veteran Affairs. Always interested in writing, the demands of his job and family kept him from writing until he retired. He is the retired CEO of the North Florida/South GeorgiaVeterans Healthcare System based in Gainesville, FL. Married, he has six adult children. His wife, Robin, is a nurse executive.

My Review:

This book is incredibly gritty, and has the feel as someone who experienced much of the book in real life.  Given his past life, it is understandable.  The knowledge into the interplay between the characters was great from the first moments of a brother going to jail to his brother, the priest, that comes to help to the end, of which I will not go into simply as I do not want to spoil it.

At first I was a bit thrown by the multiple characters but then they came together to an incredible climax. The writing is superb and maintains itself all the way through.  There are moments calmness which I was glad for as the pace was relentless.

If you like your intricate plots and spies and almost everything else, then this is a book for you.

My Rating:

4 spies out of 5